Sure, why not? Ever since the film Elysium made the heavy-handed point that the rich were going to head off to clean, well-planned sybaritic lives Innnnn Spaaace and leave the rest of us losers starving on this polluted, used-up ball of mud, it's been taken as a given in some circles.
Here's why not: there's no air, water,* bacon, broccoli, caviar, bread, carpet, chairs, iPads, condoms, Sansabelt slacks, and so on and on and on. There are no functioning ecosystems in space and to date, nobody's built one. ISS recycles quite a lot of water and processes some air, but everything that's up there was brought up there. Figuring out how to establish an even minimally-closed environment will be a long, slow process and people will die learning. I doubt any of them will be millionaires.
What's the use of being the richest man in the Solar system in a space suit at the end of a long supply chain? Sitting on the Moon, twiddling one's silent-film-villain mustache and sneering down at the planet all your stuff has to be shipped up from?
Not gonna happen. About the time you can transport a Caribbean island paradise to the Moon, intact and with a good big hunk of the surrounding sea and all its life, maybe you'll start to see a plutocrat or two in space. Maybe.
It's not a refuge for the rich. It might keep the human race from getting stomped flat by planetary disaster -- but we're going to need viable off-Earth settlements, and that's at least a century away. It'll be even longer before the livin' is at all easy.
* There's ice. Given ice, sunlight and a whole lot of money and time, you can get most anything else -- eventually. But it takes hands. Working hands. With all due respect to the accomplishments of Mr. Bezos and Mr. Musk, it's not going to be their hands, it's going to be a bunch of people working for wages.
He Worked On A Starship
1 month ago